Junior Sisk: no more Bicycle Chain

Junior Sisk has asked us to share this statement about his decision to stop including one of the songs from his current album, Old Bicycle Chain, in his live show. The song is a tongue-in-cheek farce written by Billy Smith that includes a theme that has enraged some members of the music world, to wit, a line that suggests that if the singer’s woman doesn’t change her ways, he’ll “whup you with an old bicycle chain.”

Anyone who knows Junior, or Billy, recognizes them to be good-hearted men, without an ounce of malice for anyone. But outrage over the song bubbled up at World of Bluegrass in Raleigh last week during a Women in Bluegrass seminar. I was not in attendance, but as it was reported to me, several members of both the audience and the panel took great exception to the song, feeling that it advocated or condoned violence towards women. In my own social circle, most women have found the hyperbole of the song’s narrator humorous, but the aggressive disdain expressed of late in other quarters has led Sisk to drop the song.

Dear Bluegrass World.

Recent comments have been made about my decision to include the song, Old Bicycle Chain, on our latest CD. I would like to apologize to anyone who has taken offense by this song. It was never my intention to support any sort of violence. It was a good up tempo song that we thought would cause a chuckle.

For those of you who request and enjoy the song, sorry, you will no longer be hearing it live. We are not going to be performing it on our shows any longer.

Thank you all for your support; I look forward to moving forward and putting this behind us. Hope to see you all down The Bluegrass Road.


Junior Sisk

For those of you not hip to this controversy, have a listen to the song here.


So… no more Bicycle Chain.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.